Campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of online piracy after research shows a majority of the pirate websites pose considerable risks
The Premier League today launches the second season of its ‘Boot Out Piracy’ campaign in Hong Kong to raise awareness of the dangers of viewing pirate content, as well as the compromised viewing experience offered by illegal streams.
The campaign highlights the risks that fans face by watching Premier League matches via unauthorised websites or streaming devices, including potential exposure to malicious malware or ransomware, which increases their risk of data theft and fraud. Their viewing experience is also likely to be disrupted by broken links, pop-up ads and delays.
The campaign will run across digital platforms, with content featuring some of the Premier League’s top players including Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-Min. This is the second time the campaign will run in Hong Kong, having first launched at the start of the 2020/2021 season. Outside of Hong Kong, ‘Boot Out Piracy’ will also run in Malaysia, Indonesia and, for the first time, Singapore.
Premier League General Counsel Kevin Plumb said: “We are launching the ‘Boot Out Piracy’ campaign in Hong Kong for the second year in a row to continue building awareness of the risks involved in watching Premier League matches via illegal streams. We know these sites often contain malicious content and it is important passionate Hong Kong football fans realise that watching Premier League matches through these operators brings security risks and an unreliable viewing experience.
“We are working together with our broadcast partners and local authorities in Hong Kong and throughout Asia to protect fans from accessing pirate sites so they can watch our matches in the best and safest way. Educating fans on the dangers of viewing pirated content is a core part of our anti-piracy programme as well as the significant legal actions we undertake such as blocking sites and the prosecution of sellers of illegal streaming devices.”
External research has shown a clear link between watching pirated content – including pirated Premier League content – and cybersecurity issues. According to research findings from intellectual property and data analytics company, White Bullet Solutions, 60 per cent of the most popular pirate websites in Hong Kong for illegally watching Premier League content carried advertisements considered risky, containing either fraud, malware, adult or gambling content.
White Bullet Solutions founder and chief executive officer Peter Szyszko said: “It is important for people to understand that visiting pirate websites or using pirate apps will greatly increase the risk of falling victim to cybercrime. The type of malware and ransomware we find on pirate websites and apps can be very serious – visiting them can put at risk all sorts of personal or financial information. Our clear message to consumers would be to think twice before taking a big risk and searching for an illegal stream.”
Raising awareness among fans of the risks posed by illegal streams is just one part of the Premier League’s comprehensive anti-piracy work in the region. Since the establishment of its Asia-Pacific office more than two years ago, the Premier League has initiated blocking action against illegal websites in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, and has worked closely with local authorities to bring criminal action against website operators and suppliers of illicit streaming devices across the region, including in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The League is also a member of the Coalition Against Piracy which represents the creative industries across Asia-Pacific.
The ‘Boot Out Piracy’ campaign was developed with creative agency DDB Worldwide. In Hong Kong, the campaign is a collaboration between the Premier League and local broadcast partner, Now TV, the Pay TV Platform under PCCW Media Limited.
Derek Choi, Head of Pay TV, PCCW Media Limited said: “We are very supportive of the Premier League’s anti-piracy work in Hong Kong and the wider region. As the official broadcaster of the Premier League in Hong Kong, we are committed to providing Hong Kong’s community of passionate football fans with a high-quality viewing experience of all 380 Premier League matches on both Now TV and Now E OTT Platform, with selected matches available live in 4K too.”
The Premier League’s anti-piracy programme
The Premier League has one of the most comprehensive anti-piracy programmes in the world, working with broadcast partners and authorities to bring down illegal streams and investigate and prosecute suppliers of illegal streaming services.
Recent actions include forcing the world’s largest infringing streaming app Mobdro to cease all operations after a major investigation and criminal referral by the Premier League and the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) resulted in law enforcement action by Spanish police and Europol. Mobdro illegally made available a large catalogue of live TV and video content from around the world – including sports – for use on smart TVs, smartphones, tablets and illicit streaming devices. It was a very popular app across Asia-Pacific including in Hong Kong.
About the Premier League
The Premier League produces some of the most competitive and compelling football in the world. The League and its clubs use the power and popularity of the competition to inspire fans, communities, and partners in the UK and across the world. The Premier League brings people together from all backgrounds. It is a competition for everyone, everywhere and is available to watch in 880 million homes in 188 countries.
About White Bullet Solutions
Founded in 2013 by a leadership team of experienced Intellectual Property lawyers from the media and advertising industries, White Bullet offers companies IP risk protection, Brand Safety and full transparency on their advertising placement and digital supply chains.
White Bullet works collaboratively with brands, policy makers and the advertising industry to safeguard advertising spend and prevent ad placements from appearing on IP Infringing domains and apps. White Bullet is a Digital Advertising Assurance Provider under the TAG Certified Against Piracy Programme and is a stakeholder to the EU Commission Memorandum of Understanding on Advertising and IPR.
White Bullet comprises IP experts with dedicated technical engineers who specialise in AI, big data models and predictive machine learning. The team includes highly skilled investigators and data analysts experienced in tackling the trafficking and distribution of pirated and counterfeit goods. With offices in London, New York and Los Angeles, White Bullet advises policy makers and government bodies on regulatory and compliance programmes globally.